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What Are The New Lockdown Rules In Wales From Monday?

 

Monday 9th November marks the end of the Wales-wide, 17-day "Firebreak" lockdown, but life for Welsh people will not quite return to normal, with a new set of rules coming into place to continue efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The "short, sharp firebreak" was introduced in Wales by the Welsh Government in order to regain control of the coronavirus, as infection numbers began to rise dramatically at the beginning of what would become the second wave of the virus in the nation.

From Monday 9th November, people in Wales will be expected to comply to the following rules:

  • Two households can form a bubble and will be able to meet in their own homes
  • Up to 15 people can meet for organised activities indoors, rising to 30 outdoors
  • All businesses that were required to close during the lockdown can reopen
  • There will be no travel restrictions within Wales, but people can only leave the country for essential purposes like work during the English lockdown

In regard to travel, people in Wales will be subject to the same international ban as those in England, but the First Minister confirmed that "staycations" will be allowed upon the conclusion of the Firebreak, saying:

"I can confirm that people will be able to travel within Wales, they won't be confined to their local authority area as was the case during the firebreak."

There are other areas where restrictions will ease including the following:

  • All schools will reopen
  • Churches and places of worship will resume services
  • Local authority services will resume but based on local circumstances
  • Community centres will be available for small groups to meet safely indoors in the winter months.

Though there will be an easing on restrictions in terms of social interaction, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has suggested that meeting people outside of your bubble, in household gardens, would not be permitted under the new rules.

Asked on BBC Radio Wales if people would be able to meet their parents in a back garden and at a social distance, Gething said:

"No.

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"The reality is if you're in someone's garden you're likely to need to go indoors particularly this time of the year."

Senedd Conservative leader Paul Davies has welcomed some of the changes but said the Welsh Government needed to "explain urgently to businesses what support they will be able to access for the remainder of the Wales-wide lockdown and under the new national restrictions".

He added,

"The Welsh Government needs to be bolder in getting core NHS activities back up and running to avoid other public health crises in devastating illnesses including cancer and heart disease."

As the new rules come into place from Monday, we're still yet to find out what the true impact of the firebreak was, in regard to what extent it has been able to quell the spread of the virus, and whether it has lowered the "R" rate in the country sufficiently.

Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething previously told Times Radio that the current firebreak should mean no further lockdowns are needed before the end of the year, though First Minister Mark Drakeford has refused to rule out the possibility entirely.

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